26th Panel

THE RE’ DUCT SYSTEM LONG VIA PROVINCIALE (PROVINCIALE’S STREET) (THE ROUTE OF THE EFFIGIES)

The last stretch of the path of the Vaso Ré (the Rè Duct) of Bienno leads us to the origin of this extraordinary hydraulic work, in the territory of Prestine where it begins its course.
On this stretch, all the forges were “caadure” for the production of buckets, then they have been turned into buildings that might be defined as industrial archaeology ones. Here are preserved the two “cores”: the former one with an intact “caadura” forge and the protoindustrial elements as for not to let an old profession die out.
There is to be observed how in each factory has been built a votive aedicule, nearly a kind of path of the capes.
The Vaso Ré (the Ré Duct) in the first section has the air pipe made up completely of cement, which supplied with water a complex of three forges, that outside present a continual façade: the first forge belonging to the Fanti Pietro Family, was originally a“caadura” forge for the production of buckets, the second and the third ones were also “caadure” and belonged to Compenso Fanti and Luigi Fanti, then sold to the Giovanni Vezzoli “Gianela” Family, which had founded the “3D Turnery”.
The complex was then transformed into a metal structural work until the end of the nineties, when it closed down its activity. In its head there has been inserted an aedicule depicting the Virgin and Saints Louis Gonzaga and Valentine, signed by Battista Bettoni and built in the second half of the twentieth century. In this stretch the Vaso Ré (the Ré Duct) leads us to the ground in its stone riverbed, where there are still visible the sluice-gates with guillotine or with flightwheels in more points.
The factory shed of the “Erbon” company of Ercoli Bonomo that produces agricultural tools, was built on the remains of two “caadure” forges, one belonging to Fanti Comenso and the other one originally owned by Ercoli. On this edifice built recently, we also find an aedicule depicting a Madonna probably made by Battista Bettoni too. In front of it we also find the old wooden crucifix.
At the side of the building the Vaso Re (the Re Duct) flows on the ground forming a large tank and here is well visible the “rèstèlét”, that is to say the grid placed vertically at the duct in order to allow the picking of the material that is dragged from the water and floats on it. In the last stretch there is the forge of the Pini “Pergia” family, with an aedicule of the twentieth century depicting the Madonna with the Child.
On the side of this building its course made up of dirt floor becomes very narrow and it runs along the last and the only “old” forge of this stretch: it is the forge of the Mendeni “Maìa” family, in which time seems to have been stopped: everything is frozen, the objects’ property is intact: hammers, vine-shoots and tina de l’ora.
At the end of the forge, a stone staircase with overhand steps leads to the Vaso Re (the Re Duct) made up of “gardenale” and following it we can see the beginning of the duct, where it flows out of the Campolaro Valley stream. From the Napoleonic Map of 1821 we note that there are only three complexes that could be identified exactly as the more historical forges: the Fanti one with the number 1136, the Pini one with the number 1148, the Mendeni one with the number 1147.
These last forges are served by a long suspended adduction duct made up of cement and ten metres high, well visible also from the road over the stream that rises near Prestine and then going on towards the mountains of Bienno.
Here ends our path backwords “along the story illustrated by the water”, that continues in the old town centre of Bienno, discovering the village through the old fountains.